Most of us are not lucky enough to go our entire lives without having at least one cavity. Our Oregon City dental team is here to provide preventative treatment and minimally invasive restorative treatments. In most cases, we can repair your cavity with aesthetic techniques to make it where even you will have trouble finding the dental filling.
Cavities are the result of harmful acids and plaque eating away at the enamel of your tooth. The enamel is the hardest tissue in the body and protects the inner tooth tissues, including the dentin, dental pulp, and root. Cavities can cause patients tooth sensitivity, and they can weaken the structure of the tooth.
More than 90 percent of adults ages 20 to 64 have had cavities, and about 26 percent of adults between ages 20 and 64 have untreated cavities. Patients can be more susceptible to cavities due to their diet or even due to the composition of the tooth. Whatever the case, when your tooth has signs of decay, it’s important to stop the cavity in its tracks.
Dental decay is extremely persistent and will not stop on its own. Small untreated cavities will lead to larger cavities, while larger untreated cavities can lead to root canals or possibly extractions. The only way to rid your mouth of decay is to have a dental professional restore the decay and repair the tooth with a filling. Our office restores cavities in one quick visit. Using local anesthesia, we remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then use fillings to strengthen the tooth.
Which Filling is Right for You?
At Oregon City Family Dentistry, patients have several options for repairing cavities. One of the more popular options is composite resin fillings, which blend in with the natural color of your teeth. Our composite fillings resemble a putty-like material that is hardened under a light. Preparing a tooth for a composite resin is much less invasive than preparing for traditional metal fillings. The difference is that the composite resin actually bonds to your tooth. This bond makes it nearly impossible for cavity-causing agents to find their way between the filling and the tooth.
Our office continues to offer traditional restorations like amalgam fillings and gold fillings. While these fillings do not match the aesthetics of composite resin fillings, they do last longer and can withstand large amounts of biting force. Amalgam fillings are also more economical than tooth-colored fillings.
The biggest pitfalls of amalgam fillings are the poor aesthetics and the higher likelihood of fractures, breaks, or future decay. Composite fillings are bonded and therefore do not change shape when subjected to temperature changes, like amalgam fillings are known to do. When amalgam fillings change shape over time, they can separate from the tooth and pave the way for future decay, which weakens the tooth even more. Studies also have shown that amalgam fillings contain low levels of mercury, though the FDA has said the mercury levels are not toxic to people.
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